Clayton: Injuries dominate conversation around Seahawks-Cardinals clash
One of the keys to Sunday’s critical NFC West game between the Seahawks and the Arizona Cardinals is injuries.
Seahawks Injuries: Carson’s season over, Adams, Reed questionable
Other than halfback Chris Carson, who is on injured reserve and is undergoing season-ending neck surgery, the Seahawks aren’t ruling out anyone for the game.
Safety Jamal Adams is questionable with a groin injury and cornerback D.J. Reed is questionable with knee and groin injuries. They probably won’t have linebacker Cody Barton, who has been out the past few weeks with a quad injury.
Pete Carroll said Adams and Reed will be gametime decisions.
The Cardinals ruled out wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins with a hamstring injury. That will be the third consecutive game he will miss and it’s a big loss. He’s one of the best receivers in the league and his absence takes a lot away from the Cardinals passing offense. Quarterback Kyler Murray, who has missed two games with an ankle injury, is still trying to recover from the ankle injury that has kept him out the past two weeks. He will be a gametime decision.
There have been as many as 17 players on the Cardinals injury report this week. They may not have guard Justin Pugh, who missed last week with a calf injury. Safety Budda Baker is in question because of a heel injury. They also won’t have starting running back Chase Edmonds who went on injured reserve last week.
The news on Carson obviously isn’t good. He only played four games this season and now will be done for the year. You have to wonder about his future after this season because of his neck problems. The Seahawks have needed him to get their running offense going. Now, that is out of the question.
They have to rely on Alex Collins and this is one of the most important games to have a running game. Teams that have been able to run on the Cardinals give them problems. In fact, the scouting report goes that if you run on the Cardinals, that’s the best way to beat them.
The Cardinals’ defense is better than last year, which has helped them get off to their 8-2 start. But losing defensive end J.J. Watt to injured reserve has left them more vulnerable to runs between the tackles.
What the Seahawks can’t do is a repeat of what they did last week. They only had running backs involved in 11 runs. They elected to pass the ball more and that caused them problems and led to a shutout against the Green Bay Packers.
Carroll did say Rashaad Penny will have a bigger role Sunday. They need a good one-two punch with Collins and Penny. Another injury to watch is defensive end Kerry Hyder Jr. He is questionable with a calf injury and is expected to play.
This is a must win game for the Seahawks. They can’t afford to fall to 3-7 and think they can get a wild-card berth.
Follow John Clayton on Twitter.
Huard: Seahawks’ ‘very best shot’ coming with ‘backs against the wall’